Arrest over handmade pistol parts

Luke Hargrave

Luke Hargrave

AN Albury police strike force investigating a murder at Lavington last year has swooped on a metal fabricator allegedly manufacturing firearms parts in his bedroom.

Officers executed a search warrant at Scott Pollard’s home on Thursday and he allegedly admitted the manufacture of a .410 pistol.

A court heard yesterday the pistol was in the final stages of manufacture with a barrel, receiver frame, handle and components including a trigger, hammer and wooden grips.

The raid was made by officers from Strike Force Ednie set up to investigate the murder of Lavington man Luke Hargrave in October.

Pollard is the second person arrested by strike force team members.

Self-employed metalworker and Corowa business operator Benjamin Vagg, 33, was arrested last November and remains in custody after police allegedly found pen pistols, two rifle silencers and a trench knife at his work premises.

Pollard, 23, appeared in Albury Local Court charged with manufacturing a prohibited firearm, possessing an unauthorised pistol, possessing ammunition without holding a licence and possessing a prohibited drug.

He made an application for bail but solicitor Jason Hanke said it was conceded the prosecution case was strong.

Magistrate Tony Murray said there was presumption against bail with two charges, remanded Pollard in custody and adjourned the case until May 5 for the preparation of a police evidence brief.

Pollard works for a metal fabricator at Culcairn and lives with his parents in Worsley Street at Lavington.

Police told the court officers spoke to Pollard at his home and he admitted manufacturing the pistol.

He was arrested, taken to the police station and officers searched the house in the presence of his parents.

They seized the pistol parts along with a spent .410 cartridge in the chamber of the pistol.

There were seven live .38 rounds, one .22 round and work tools used in the manufacture process.

Various plan drawings of firearm parts, components, calibres, metal dimensions and specifications to assist in the manufacture of long arms and pistols were found.

A small amount of cannabis leaf was sitting in a bowl beside Pollard’s bed.

Pollard admitted in an interview he had been manufacturing the prohibited pistol for about a year and intended to hunt rabbits.

All the parts and components had been manufactured by him.

Pollard said plan drawings had been created by him without the assistance of the internet or reference to other firearms.

He does not hold a firearms licence in any state.

Police are continuing investigations into the possibility of Pollard manufacturing and supplying prohibited firearms in the Albury area.